Cabinet Hardware 101

White kitchen cabinets

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: cabinet hardware is a simple yet impactful element in your space.
Whether your hardware needs to be updated or you’re selecting hardware for a new area, it significantly contributes to the final design. However, poorly placed or malfunctioning cabinet hardware can disrupt an otherwise amazing space.

For example, we like to think of the hardware as jewelry for your cabinets. Similar to how an amazing outfit can either be enhanced or thrown off by the jewelry you choose, the same can happen to the look of your space depending on the choice of hardware.
To help you navigate the selection and placement of your hardware effectively, we’ve compiled some of our trade secrets and handy tips.

How Many Drawer Pulls?
One vs. Two.

As a general guideline, drawers wider than 24 inches benefit from two pulls rather than one. Divide the drawer into thirds and place the hardware on the left and right thirds. While there are exceptions to this rule, consider the space’s requirements. Here are some designs by Neff Designs for inspiration.

Pull vs. Knob
Choosing the Right One

Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they serve different purposes. In traditional spaces, knobs are typically used for doors, while pulls are preferred for drawers. However, in more modern settings or smaller bathrooms, I sometimes deviate from this rule. Still, it’s a useful guideline for hardware selection!

Material Selection
What Are My Options?

When exploring cabinet hardware options, you’ll encounter a plethora of materials, including metal, wood, leather, ceramic, and glass. However, most commonly, you’ll choose from four main materials: metal finishes like bronze, black, nickel, and brass. These finishes come in various textures, such as brushed, polished, matte, or oil-rubbed. It’s advisable to physically examine these finishes before making a decision, as the tactile experience can greatly influence your choice. If ordering online, I highly recommend obtaining a sample piece beforehand. Since hardware is something you interact with frequently, it’s essential that you love how it feels in your hand.

Built-in Appliances
How to Adorn the Fridge?

If you’ve opted for a built-in fridge (which I highly recommend), remember to select appliance pulls designed specifically for this purpose. These pulls are proportionate to the larger paneled doors and drawers of built-in appliances.

Highline view home kitchen with wood cabinets

Modern vs. Traditional
Exploring Style Options

In modern or transitional spaces, knobs and pulls can be used interchangeably, offering flexibility in design. You can achieve a sleek look by incorporating pulls on all cabinetry. Conversely, in traditional settings, adhering to the guideline of knobs for doors and pulls for drawers is a safe bet.

Desert modern home bathroom single vanity with black triangle tile

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what suits your space best! But we hope these guidelines will help you navigate the selection process for modern and traditional spaces.

Let us know if you have any other design questions or things that are confusing when it comes to your hardware design.

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